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In spite of the recent trend of slowing down the game, serve is still the most important shot for a player and the only one that can define careers by itself... having an outstanding forehand alone does not guarantee one of the title, but a truly great serve can make your rise through the rankings quicker, easier and threatening... GOAT players have more complete games than relying on big serves only for their titles, but no other single shot can be used so effectively by itself in the men's game than the serve, a shot that can take an otherwise weaker player to career glory...

The serve is the reason why players like Ivanisevic and Roddick are Slam titleists, while more talented and complete players like Rios and Mecir are not... Serve is the sole reason why mediocre ball strikers Karlovic and Isner are a knightmare match-ups even for top players... and serve is the only reason why Raonic can shoot through the rankings while more talented Dimitrov struggles...

A Laver like career seems very unattainable for a smaller player with great hands nowadays...
 

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Serve will only get you so far, movement and a forehand can win you slams...
 

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Yep, and its been that way forever.
 

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Yep, and its been that way forever.
+1

And rightfully so, it's the most difficult shot in the game and its mastery should be rewarded.
 

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Lurrrkin'
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Yup, serve has always been the basis of Tennis. The difference between winning and losing is often determined by how strong/consistent/well placed/clutch a players serve is. It goes a long way towards helping you hold your own serve regardless of how badly you're returning, so you'll always be keeping up with the opponent.

Even players who don't have the most effective serves that give many free points like Nadal, use it to help them dominate the point and take the upper hand straight away. More than anything though, a player serving well tends to gain confidence from it and generally makes the rest of their game blossom. Good example was yesterday, where Roddick wasn't serving particularly well, and that reflected in the rest of his game (no jokes about the rest of his game).
 

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Of course it's the single most important shot. Why do you think the game is organized around service and return games.
 

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This is MTF but look at the women's game. Serena a serve leaps and bounds ahead of the rest and she dominates with ease. If you can't serve, you're digging yourself a big hole.
 

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As the 1st shot of any sequence of shots that is probably a fair assessment.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Clouds in the sky on a rainy day, it's as profound and true as that.
 
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